Davis Enterprise Front Page, December 9, 2011!

Volunteers lend a hand at Logos Books

Esther DiCarlo helps out at Logos Books, which relies on volunteer workers and donates any profits to charity. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise photo

Esther DiCarlo helps out at Logos Books, which relies on volunteer workers and donates any profits to charity. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise photo

Books are good for the mind, but for the staff of Logos Books, they’re good for the soul, too.

The downtown used and out-of-print bookstore has donated nearly $30,000 to Doctors Without Borders and Save the Children since opening almost two years ago. A nonprofit owned by two retired teachers, Susan and Peter Linz, the shop is now run with the help of local volunteers.

The Linzes opened Logos Books in 2010, seeing an opportunity to share their love of books with the Davis community and expand their donations to charities, which they had previously supported through their online bookstore.

This proved to be a smart decision on their part; Logos Books donated $9,300 to charity in its first year of business, more than a fifth of its total donations in a decade of online business. The pair expects their success to continue this year, projecting a donation of $20,000 after the store exceeded its initial $15,000 target.

The profits, after paying the store’s bills, go solely to Doctors Without Borders and Save the Children, two charities picked for their transparency and dedication to providing international aid.

Susan points out that being retired is an advantage for the business.

“We pay overhead like rent, but after that it all goes to charity,” she said. “We don’t not eat dinner because we haven’t made enough money.”

In June, however, Susan and Peter found they were having trouble running the store and still finding the time to go out and buy books. ”This store is not like a normal bookstore,” Susan said. “You can’t just order more from a supplier. You have to go to book sales, estate sales (to find books).”

The couple decided to send out a request for volunteers, and 14 community members and UC Davis students stepped up to help. Esther DiCarlo, a second-year UCD student and lifelong Davis resident, mentioned her connection to the owners as part of the reason she decided to volunteer.

“It turned out that Susan Linz was my French teacher back in ninth grade,” DiCarlo said. “The reason I got involved isn’t because I wanted more things to do, but because I really like Logos and want to help keep it running.”

Ann Privateer, a Davis resident, originally started coming to Logos for the monthly French conversation circle La Table Française. Volunteering once or twice a month on Sundays, she enjoys the work.

“It’s great,” Privateer said. “I feel like I’m a part of this big donation.”

DiCarlo, like other volunteers, shares Privateer’s enjoyment of the time spent at Logos.

“It’s very relaxing; I’ll usually bring a mug of tea and a book with me to read. It’s a nice way to spend a Saturday morning,” DiCarlo said.

The volunteers aren’t the only ones who appreciate the time spent at the store. Recently, Susan and Peter threw a Thanksgiving party for the volunteers and friends of the store as a thank you and a way for everyone to meet and get to know each other a little better.

Working schedules are flexible, with most volunteers working a few times a month. Anyone interested in volunteering may contact Susan and Peter Linz either at the store, 513 Second St., or by emailing logosusedbooks@gmail.com to set up a meeting. For more about the store, visitlogosbooks.wordpress.com or call the shop at             (530) 400-1083      .


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